October 10, 2003



Malaysia Needs to Step Up More Research For Animal Health


Industry must make the effort to work closely with tertiary institutions to come up with more Malaysian-made innovations and research on animal health instead of complaining about universities' research being irrelevant, Malaysia Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad said. 


"But if industry does not work with universities, this will continue to be a problem. I am not saying all the universities' research can be commercialised but if universities and industry can work together, then it will be possible to increase the number of Malaysian-made products," he said after opening an exhibition on universities' research and development at Putra World Trade Centre yesterday. 


Asked whether he had held dialogues with industry, Musa said yes but "if there is no follow-up from the industry, then the dialogues will just remain as such." 


Musa gave the example of a vaccine for chicken that Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) researchers had worked on. 


UPM Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Zohadie Bardaie explained that the lifespan of chicken was often shortened by disease and, before the vaccine, poultry farmers had to inject chicken one at a time.  However the case now is that poultry farmers can just put the vaccine directly into the feed without going through all those trouble.


Earlier in his speech, Musa said although the country had developed a lot, the number of patents per one million people was still low. 


In 2000, Malaysia had 8.8 patents per one million people; Japan had 3,062; the US 623 and Australia 546. Compared to these countries, apparently Malaysia needs to brush up its research efforts.